I have just come to the end of my second week, which went even faster than my first. This week I have completed a lot of theory, most of my specialties and my open water skills practical.
Highlight of the week was during my shark specialty dive where I saw my first ever (wild) shark! Followed by at least six more on the second dive! These were white tip and black tip reef sharks. After that I felt that my diving career was complete and have not been in the water since.
..joking of course. I have also completed my underwater naturalist course. The first dive involved looking for different groups of organisms such as sponges, hard and soft corals, ascidians, echinoderms, fish etc and identifying species where possible. The aim of the second dive was to find as many examples of symbiosis as possible. This means where two species live together and interact in a way that may be: beneficial to both species (mutualism); beneficial to one species and neither harm nor benefit the other (commensalism); beneficial to one species and directly harm the other (parasitism). Examples of these include the relationships between anemonefish and anemones, corals and zooxanthellae, and crinoids and crinoid shrimp.
I also completed my fish identification course and coral watch. The coral watch dive involved identifying several corals of differing types (branching, massive, tabulate), recording their location and then matching their darkest and lightest colours against a slate provided by coral watch. The data collected will be submitted to coral watch and the aim is that these corals will be monitored over time for signs of bleaching.
Now that I’ve finished my first two weeks and seen my sharks I’m off to Lembeh for a week! I really enjoyed my time in Bunaken and hope that I am able to go back again soon.